Lighthouse Island Academy

Investing in Our Youth’s Future

The Taylor Diversion Lighthouse Island Academy in Tionesta, PA, is designed to assist youth in grades 9-12, who struggle with school attendance, who have been identified as at-risk, and/or those who are in need of assistance to be successful in school and life. Utilizing nature as the learning laboratory, certified PA teachers and mentors seek to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of enrolled youth by providing a blended curriculum of place-based education and competency development.

Youth referred to our Lighthouse Island Academy are provided a learning experience that is customized to meet individual needs.  Full and half-day sessions are conducted Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. To assure that youth remain connected to their home school curriculum, we utilize home bound instruction, along with our unique curriculum to achieve the best learning outcomes.  Additionally, our teachers and mentors are prepared to  offer supervision and tutoring to youth enrolled in cyber-school.

LIA Wellness Plan & National School Lunch Program

On July 16, 2012, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued memorandum SP 38-2012, which allowed Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs), with state agency approval, to serve the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meal pattern in effect for the highest age/grade group served to all residential students. In order to utilize this flexibility, the RCCI must meet all three of the following criteria: 1) be a juvenile detention or correctional facility; 2) serve children in different age/grade groups; and 3) have legitimate safety concerns, or state juvenile justice laws or regulations related to offering meals with varying amounts of food within the same meal period.

Lighthouse Island Academy qualifies to participate in the NSLP as an RCCI. This means there is no charge for student breakfast or lunch meals for the 2019-2020 school year. However, all meals must meet federal and state guidelines. Students must take 3 items out of the 4 items offered at breakfast and 1 of those items must be a half cup of fruit. At lunch, students must take 3 items out of the 5 items offered and one of those items must be a half cup of fruit or vegetables.

Visit the National School Lunch Program page for more.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

The goal of our Lighthouse Island Academy is to provide local school districts and county agencies with a viable “preventative” alternative to reduce and eliminate behaviors of concern with 9-12 youth. To this end,  youth enrolled in the Lighthouse Island Academy are offered support in areas such as:

  • overcoming barriers to a more successful educational/home life experience
  • individual, group, and family counseling
  • community service projects and restitution programs
  • vocational, recreational and health/wellness venues

We utilize a cognitive approach to address the following:

  • obesity and other health related concerns
  • school concerns
  • defiance issues
  • bullying
  • social isolation and withdrawal
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • drug and alcohol prevention/education
  • depression and anxiety

After Completing the TDP Program:

Youth who participate will have several options at the conclusion of the program. Some are able to resume full-time attendance at their local school, often with supplemental counseling and supportive services. Youth who are truant or have dropped out may find that this alternative assists in getting them re-enrolled and the ability to graduate with their peer group. For those who qualify, there may be multiple opportunities to return to the program and participate as mentors for new youth. Incentives and opportunities to take part in industry recognized certificate programs and job readiness preparatory programs may be available. Select youth may be offered jobs within the local community. As an incentive, following discharge from the program, youth will have an opportunity to attend a free week of summer camp providing they are meeting their aftercare goals.

In addition to providing safe, short-term programming, TDP will guide youth in:

  • making responsible decisions regarding future needs and appropriate peer relationships
  • increasing  self-confidence, self-discipline and dignity
  • promoting responsible consistent behaviors and attitudes
  • returning to their home school environment in the shortest period of time
  • strengthening career exploration/vocational/educational skill sets

We provide opportunities to address some of the identified issues through experiential and expressive therapies, such as recreation, art, music, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Youth will meet individually with teachers/mentors to develop an individualized treatment plan. Our treatment team includes practitioners from the fields of psychiatry, social work, psychology, family therapy, nursing, and education. TDP also offers a variety of recreational and instructional after school and weekend programs such as archery, fly fishing, sewing, and computer applications.

“A good river is nature’s life work in song.”Mark Helprin, Freddy and Fredericka
Through our diversion programs, TDP provides experiences that give youth the opportunities they need to increase their chances for success and the necessary skills to better manage their risks through strength enhancement.

What others are saying…

  • Taylor Diversion Program not only addresses the development of competencies necessary for a successful transition to living independently in the community, but also includes a family component which assists in the rebuilding of relationships between family, caregivers, schools and communities, an area in which most of these youth have ‘broken many bridges’. Mentoring is a critical component of this program which will be an ongoing process throughout the stay.Children and Youth Services Representative
  • “After visiting the site and hearing the plans you have for TDP, I believe the types of programs and services that you propose to offer will fulfill an important need in the region. The intent of this mentoring program is to help at risk children develop the competencies needed to develop a successful lifestyle and assist in rebuilding relationships between family, caregivers, schools and communities.”Congressman
  • “I am firmly convinced that having this leadership and mentoring program in our area will have a very positive impact on our students, our schools, and our communities. It is discouraging to witness deteriorating behavior and performance in young people who we know have ample potential, but are not served adequately by the confines of public education. I know that the motivation behind Taylor Diversion Programs is to reach students before they head too far down the wrong path. Even at our small, rural high school, we encounter numerous students that become involved with juvenile probation, placement facilities, and/or incarceration during and after high school. Taylor Diversion Programs will create a scenario where caring adults can have a positive impact in preventing the patterns of negative behavior, rather than reacting to it after the fact.”-Guidance Counselor

Our Mission

TDP provides supportive prevention services for troubled youth and their families by using proven strategies in education, vocation, nature and wellness in order to create stronger, healthier communities.

Our Promise

As TDP grows, we will continue our commitment to exceed the expectations of the populations served; moreover, we will remain committed to treating every youth as family.

Multi-faceted Approach

TDP has created a unique,  four-dimensional Prevention/Intervention program for youth: 

Taylor Diversion Programs, Inc.© does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in the employment or in the provision of services.

TDP is a 501(c)(3) organization, fully licensed by PA 3800 regulations to operate a residential independent living program. We also have a private licensed school, through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Lighthouse Island Academy.